Golden Gate Bridge Suicides

In Memory of Matthew Whitmer, Missing since November 15, 2007

1987 - 2007

Matthew's Story


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 Sunset over Golden Gate at Matthew's Candlelight Vigil

            Sunset over the Golden Gate at Matthew's Candlelight Vigil

November 15, 2007 was the last time anyone ever heard from or saw Matthew.
Matthew had sent a text message to a friend at
6:23 a.m

"Peace Out"

His way of saying goodbye.
Matthew has not been seen or heard from since that day.

The loss of a loved one is devastating enough but to face the possible of loss
of a child, having him missing, his whereabouts unknown,
 discovering he was hearing voices again,

 knowing that he was an "adult-at-risk",
 left us with that ounce of hope that he is out there somewhere,

 safe but confused and lost.
We began researching about the bridge and the suicides.

We learned more than anyone would ever want to know.

We learned about the history of the Golden Gate Bridge; from the conception to

the creation of the bridge district, to the building and safety features used to

protect the workers, to the beginning of the tragedy of suicide at this site,

 to the advocacy of people for over 70 years to prevent these deaths,

to the callousness (or ignorance) of people who preferred a view to saving lives.


We will never comprehend why anyone would prefer a  view from this bridge

to saving a person's life.


Since when is there ever an ‘acceptable’ amount of deaths in one location

before action is taken to prevent them?

Trying to understand why a person would take their life is like trying to understand string theory and quantum physics -  for most of us.  The act is rarely a rational one and like Matthew many people suffer from a mental illness or disorder.  Some people become so distraught that it affects their brain’s chemistry and can place them in a psychotic state; unable to understand and comprehend the world around them.

They begin to think in terms of black and white in a world that is in shades of grey.    It is all or nothing; the idea of compromise does not enter their thoughts.


To better appreciate what the person is dealing with, please read this article.


We were in shock at the news that Matthew had jumped – how does a parent ever prepared for that news.  We discovered we were giving incorrect information about how to handle this situation.  We gathered the correct information and put it all together for families like ours.

The BridgeRail Foundation then generously published this brochure with additional information that is beneficial at a time when we really cannot think clearly.  This is available from the
Golden Gate Bridge Patrol and the Marin California Highway Patrol, but you need to ask for it.


After all of this there was no doubt in my mind that no other family should have to endure the loss of a loved one from a jump off that bridge. That is why we are working with The BridgeRail Foundation to help make the barrier a reality.

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